Senior moments

I’m pretty sure I forgot things at other times in my life. Like when we’d been told to “get thing things you need for the beach” and I had to swim in my pants and vest, ignored by the other children. Or when I forgot my homework three days running. Or forgot to go to work, having woken next to golden skin of the boy I’d dreamed about, but had never believed would even notice me.

But now, after a certain age, all my forgettings seem forebodings [there’s another word, saying something more about this feeling, that I can’t reach – is this a senior moment or simply what happens all the time, only made visible in the lens of trying to write?]. I follow the google trail and find:

Dread (noun)
A sudden take-off and flight of a flock of gulls or other birds:
‘flocks of wood sandpiper, often excitable, noisy, and given to dreads’

Is that it? It’s new to me, ‘dread’ in this sense. I like it, but it’s not the word hiding behind the furniture of my thinking – I’ll stay on the look-out for that.

But someone, years, even centuries, ago understood something about how it feels to have one’s certainty take flight.

It can feel, the thing I can’t remember, when I venture nearer, somehow temporarily dismantled and chaotic. I reach for it – and, in an instant, all its constituent parts  take flight, assembled loosely, murmuring beyond grasp (“a hum, muttering, rushing,” probably from a PIE reduplicative base *mor-mor, of imitative origin cf. Sanskritmurmurah “crackling fire”). It fees dreadful, a huge and fluttering loss that circles and fades, its impact diminishing. Which is soothing.

At least it ends in consolation and the optimism of Beckett: I can’t go on, I’ll go on…

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